finchBeing out and about more today in dealing with last minute details on several closings, I found myself noticing people out and about when driving from point A to point B. I’m not sure what my take is on some of the things I have been seeing about the city of late.

I know we are all God’s creatures great and small, but I can certainly say of late, I’ve noticed the full spectrum of society in action. I’ve viewed some of the most expensive foreign autos cruising about downtown as well as rickety jalopies being likely held together by a wing and a prayer. Smartly dressed young professionals have strolled the downtown streets getting a bit of fresh air along with haggardly clothed people digging in the public waste bins for bottles and cans to redeem. Two times within one week I have seen two different men digging in the cigarette pails outside taverns for discarded cigarette butts. Oh Mercy! I really wish at times I didn’t notice such things happening around me. I’ve wondered where some of these people live and why they appear to be in such dire straits.

In all the many years I’ve worked downtown, I rarely ever in the past viewed anyone digging in dumpsters in the downtown all save one or two that were habitual dumpster divers. I think both of them have gone on to meet their maker. Seems those two have been replaced by many more. Several weeks ago I was shocked to see a man standing inside one of the business’s big dumpster while digging through it. I certainly hope these sightings are not an indication of the way our world is becoming. Destitution is a sign that we have either not provided enough safety nets to keep people from apparent desperation, or those unfortunate ones have become so disillusioned by the pressures of today’s world they simply give up and allow their self-worth to be compromised.

In listening to several officials giving a talk at a gathering some months ago, I certainly had my eyes opened to the level of drug use as well as trafficking around our area as well as the nation as a whole. We were supplied with cold hard facts regarding the scary types of drugs now being used, where they’re coming from, and what the end results have been with the users.

My heart goes out to every person who has had to deal with substance abuse with themselves or one of their family members. It must be like going to war with one’s self or the one close to us on a daily basis. I used to think that people who used drugs were taking them to simply cope with the excess stress in their lives. Now, my belief has evolved to where it gets started at a party or social setting as something experimental and then turns quickly to the dark side. The compromises become so great that the users have lost all sense of self and become like tumbleweeds tumbling in the wind in search of a way to get high for but even a few moments. We must tend our gardens carefully and make sure we don’t allow for any new growth of tumbleweeds.

Joe Chodur

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